I have come to be a very astute observer of the varying iciness of the walks. There are walks so meticulously shoveled that they are almost dry; walks that have been worked over by a snow blower but which have underlayers of ice; snow-packed walks; walks that were never shoveled but have nonetheless been tramped on and sculpted by feet, so that they're like the freaking Matterhorn, but flatter.
I'm not walking, exactly; I'm scrambling, or free-styling, or almost hiking. All this with a rambunctious dog on a leash. "Hey!" I say. Often. Or, "Hold on!" Or, "Don't pull me!" Or combinations thereof: "Hey! Hey! Hold on, Bruiser. Don't pull me. Hey! You can't pull me." My goal is to get through the winter without ending up on my butt on some sidewalk a mile from home, with Bruiser about fifteen feet ahead of me, still on the leash, foraging for God knows what horrible thing that has been preserved specifically for him in the snow.